17 Dec

TBT: The Olympic Commercial You Haven’t Seen

profile-picThe number of commercials shown in an hour of television has increased over the past five years, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town. In fact, the estimated revenue of the U.S. broadcasting industry is said to be about $125 billion!  These statistics seem crazy, but can you believe that in 2010 an average U.S. consumer spent 5h 25.5min daily with TV?!

Why am I talking about broadcasting on an early childhood blog? Today’s TBT post is in regards to an Olympic commercial. One of my ‘strengths is learner and I thought about how often I see those around me “plugged in”. Commercials aren’t just shown on the home television set anymore. They’re all around us: on our devices, digital billboards, city buses, etc. I’d say there are both drawbacks and benefits to this. Your thoughts? Reply below.

Blogging has been a part of my life for nearly 8 years. It has been enjoyable to look back in the archives because I have forgotten about many of the posts. It’s like a small time capsule – a window back in time. Every Thursday, I’ll be sharing one post from the archives for Throw Back Thursday. This week’s post comes from Feb. 2010:

There has been a lot of news coverage of the Olympics lately. You probably have a favorite sport to watch and athletes that you cheer on. You may stay up way too late watching finals when you know you should be sleeping. You may have seen some awesome moments and perhaps some horrific ones as well. BUT you probably haven’t seen this…

17 Dec

Beyond The Pages Book Study (Goffin): MNCPD Approved Training (Self-paced)

I’m pleased to announce that MN participants of our Beyond The Pages book study (Goffin) may earn 6 training hours for active participation. This is an approved course through the MN Center for Professional Development! This course applies towards the Core Competency Area of VIII. Professional Development and the CDA Content Area of Maintaining Professionalism.

Participants can participate LIVE each week following the book study schedule OR may complete it as a self-paced course.

The following guidelines are for participants seeking MNCPD/Develop hours or a certificate for active participation in the Beyond The Pages Early Childhood Book Study (Goffin):

  1. Participants will SUBSCRIBE to the Enhancing Young Minds (EYM) blog. Then, drop me a note stating your participation by visiting my Contact Me page. Include your name and email address. Put “BOOK STUDY” in the subject area and “I PLAN TO PARTICIPATE” (and anything else you’d like me to know) in the message area. Simply follow along each week to access the new discussions about the book.
  2. Participants will pay for training hours/certificate by visiting the top-right of this blog and click Donate under PAY for Book-study Certificate Here. ($30)
  3. Participants will obtain a copy of the chosen book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era by Stacie Goffin.
  4. If you are on Facebook, JOIN this eventhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1078301142189381/
  5. Participants will read the chapters according to the timeline and review the correlating expert commentary on my blog.
  6. Participants will participate by posting thoughtful and reflective responses (regarding book readings and expert commentaries) in the comments section of the blog post each week for the duration of the blog study. That means that participants will post 8 reflections. If participants are bloggers themselves and are blogging about this experience, including their reflections, they are able to simply post the weblink to their blog post in our blog comments section.
  7. Participants will keep an organized log (Word document) of all comments or blog posts (with dates and chapters) and email them to Dawn Braa (dawnbraa1@gmail.com) at the end of the study.
  8. Participants are responsible for submitting their certificate to Develop to be entered in their learning record UNLESS they JOIN DEVELOP (free to create an account). If participants submit their MNCPD Develop ID# to Dawn along with their organized log of participation, course completion will automatically be entered onto their MNCPD learning record!

*Participants must successfully complete all requirements to be eligible for training hours/certificate.
**Duplicate certificates will not be sent.

If you live outside MN and are seeking training hours, I suggest you also document your active participation and inquire with your state about approval possibilities. I am not guaranteeing approval of any kind outside of MN, but you will receive a certificate after successful completion.

To learn more about this study, including the FAQs, click HERE!

17 Dec

Beyond The Pages Book Study Frequently Asked Questions (Goffin)

Here’s the information you’ve been waiting for! My next book study will be focused on Stacie Goffin’s book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era. I’m honored to announce that there is another fantastic lineup of early childhood experts to assist in leading the conversation around this book! In the coming weeks, those content experts will be announced. Did I mention that Redleaf Press is sponsoring a BOOK GIVEAWAY beginning on Jan. 2nd, 2016? Stay tuned! (Although the LIVE book study has ended, blog visitors are welcome [and encouraged!] to participate).



I realize that some of you may be new to the idea of an online book study. Don’t worry…there are no prerequisites for participation. Everyone is welcome and I’m so glad that you’ve stopped by! Do join us, won’t you?


  1. How does this study work?
    Participants will read the chosen book and visit the blog for weekly guest expert commentary to further their thought-process, dialogue, etc. Follow along by using the Book Study Timeline (below). You may check in at your convenience each week. You are also invited to participate in the weekly dialogue on the blog by commenting below each post. Your experiences and perspective will help others on this journey. The profession needs your voice! Because this is an online study, the commentary will be available at a later date should you get behind. Please note that the Ask The Author feature is only guaranteed during the live book study dates.
  2. Where can I purchase the book?
    NAEYC comprehensive members should have received this book in the fall (2015). See the links below to purchase a copy of Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.

    1. Redleaf Press – Use code PROECE to save 10% on Stacie Goffin’s Professionalizing Early
    Childhood Education As a field of Practice
     through 3-1-16*

    2. NAEYC
  3. How do I access the blog book study?
    You may access the book study a few different ways:

    Visit my Blog– https://enhancingyoungminds.com/ and subscribe (upper right-hand corner)
    Like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EarlyChildhoodIdeasResources
    Follow on Twitter– https://twitter.com/dawnbraa
    Attend the Facebook Book Study Event https://www.facebook.com/events/1078301142189381/
  4. Do I need to register?
    First, be sure to
    SUBSCRIBE to the Enhancing Young Minds (EYM) blog. Then, drop me a note stating your participation by visiting my Contact Me page. Include your name and email address. Put “BOOK STUDY” in the subject area and “I PLAN TO PARTICIPATE” (and anything else you’d like me to know) in the message area. Simply follow along each week to access the new discussions about the book. *Note* If you are seeking a certificate for training hours, you’ll need to follow these steps <–Click
  5. Is there a fee?
    No, not to participate, except the cost of the book (approx. $20). *Minnesota participants seeking training hours through MNCPD/Develop or anyone seeking a training certificate is required to pay $30 prior to receiving hours/certificate (6 hours). Pay by visiting the top-right of this blog and click Donate under PAY for Book-study Certificate Here.
  6. Can I participate?
    Absolutely!  You may participate a few different ways: read the book, follow along with the study, share on social media, post chapter comments on our blog and/or Facebook page, and/or blog your responses to chapter topics on your blog and link back to our expert commentaries. Twitter hashtag #BeyondThePages
  7. What is Ask the Author?
    The author of this book, Stacie Goffin, has generously agreed to participate in our blog study by answering questions from participants!  How cool is that?! #AskAuthor
  8. What if I miss the LIVE study? Can I still participate?
    Yes, absolutely! This book study will be available online afterwards. This allows you to join and begin at any time. (see #4) Decide on a pace that works for you. Be sure to comment on the EYM blog so we can all be part of your conversation as well!

Book Study Timeline!
(After reading, click on the chapter to view the expert commentary for the coinciding chapter. Click the name to learn more about the guest expert)

15 Dec

Adventures in Healthy Eating: Happy Mealtimes

holly-leaves2During the holidays, you may find that your schedules does not allow for consistent mealtimes. As a result, you may have children coming to the table overly hungry (and probably crabby due to hunger) or coming to the table already full as they have snacked on less healthy foods prior to the meal.

As an adult, there are some simple things you can do to keep holiday mealtimes happy for young children.

  1. Aim for consistent mealtimes. If your child typically eats at 11:30 a.m. every day, don’t expect them to wait until 1:00 p.m. to eat if you are out shopping or attending holiday events. Try to plan your schedule so they can eat within an hour of their regular mealtime.
  1. Use healthy snacks. If you know mealtime will be an hour or more past their regular mealtime, plan a small healthy snack at their regular mealtime. Apple slices, carrot sticks, or even half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are great options. Keep some dried fruit or crackers in your car so you have a healthy snack if your shopping takes longer than planned. Keep the amount small enough so their hunger is satisfied, but they are still hungry for the family meal.
  1. DSC_2756_221Avoid “grazing” on less healthy foods. Holidays are a great time to enjoy traditional family cookies, fudge, and other sweet foods. It’s important for young children (and adults too) to avoid eating (grazing) on these sweet treats all day. Plan to serve these sweet treats as dessert or a snack. Avoid having a cookie or goodie tray set out all day.

Holidays are a nice time to be with family and friends. Keeping mealtime consistent and providing a variety of fruits and vegetables for snacks will help keep children happy.


Mary SchroederMary Schroeder works for the University of Minnesota Extension which helps to connect community needs with University of Minnesota resources.  Specifically the Health and Nutrition programs and resources focus on disease & obesity prevention, healthy school environments, and continuing education for community professionals.  You can link to the Extension Health and Nutrition website at: http://www.extension.umn.edu/health/

Mary Schroeder, MPH, RD, LD
Extension Educator
Health and Nutrition
University of Minnesota Extension
Email:  hedin007@umn.edu
Website:  www.extension.umn.edu
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/UMNExtSimplyGoodEating

14 Dec




Kudak,Anna holidayThis time of year often evokes a wide range of feelings – excitement, joy, sadness, longing or all of the above. Especially for moms, any and all of those emotions often come with holiday stress and anxiety – “How can I possibly get everything done?!” Family researcher Dr. Anna Kudak has spent recent years interviewing women about their holiday experiences and even following some moms into the kitchen or shopping mall, and she has a lot to say about why the holidays stress us out. But she and Marti & Erin also have some good ideas about how to ease up a bit and find your true meaning in whatever holidays you celebrate! TUNE IN HERE.

Think about the last big holiday you celebrated. To what extent did it capture the meaning you wanted it to have? What messages do you think your children received from you about the meaning of the holiday? What would you wish to do differently the next time the holidays roll around to reduce your holiday stress? Reply below!

This post was created by Mom Enough and used with permission

12 Dec

GIVEAWAY! Celebrate Everything 2016 Calendar

12366639_10153227895441828_1528465050_nI am very excited to announce the first giveaway on my new site! I’ve partnered with Kim and Jason from Escape Adulthood for the Celebrate Everything 2016 Calendar Giveaway. Jason was a guest speaker on my other blog back in 2010.  I’m thrilled to partner with him again! Let me tell you about this ‘not-so-average’ calendar. . .

2016-calendar-04_compact“Contrary to popular belief, your calendar is not the boss of you. Every single day is a holiday. It’s just that most days, what to celebrate is up to you. Making your last mortgage payment is a good reason to throw a party. The night before the last day of school is a good reason to throw a party. Baby’s first laugh is a good reason to throw a party. If a reason seems good enough to you, well then, it’s good enough.

2016-calendar-06_compactThis limited edition calendar was created for those times when you’re just not sure what to celebrate, as well as for those people who need permission before they can celebrate. Every single day features an absolutely real (although sometimes obscure) Adultitis-fighting holiday, typeset in legit, official-looking fine print. Of course, disregarding a particular day’s “official” holiday in favor of making up your own is always encouraged.”

  • jason_bio_pic_2011This 12-month wall calendar features the colorful, whimsical, and inspiring artwork of Jason Kotecki.
  • Only 500 calendars have been printed, and each one is signed and numbered by the artist.
  • Every single day includes a real holiday.
  • Every month features an open-ended challenge to help you keep Adultitis at bay all year long.
  • The calendar is 12″ x 12″.
  • Printed with stunning UV inks on 100 lb matte paper, and the cover has a special soft-touch aqueous coating for a luxurious, velvety feel.
  • Certified 100% Adultitis-free.
  • A perfect gift!

Connect with Kim and Jason

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/escapeadulthood


Enter below for your chance to win. Each task you do is another entry for yourself in the drawing! Complete the task and then click that you did it. Tweeting on Twitter and sharing on Facebook can be done DAILY. Other entries are once per giveaway. *NOTE* This giveaway runs from 12/12/15 until 12/19/15 (Ending @ 12:00am EST).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Dec

TBT: Toddlers and Tiaras…a Look at Pageants

This pageant post is a throw-back of mine from December 2009 on this blog

On many weekends, young girls are competing in pageants, parading around on stage in heavy makeup, weighed down by heavily sequined dresses,  to compete and hopefully win trophy’s. In a week, TLC will unveil a new pageant show for children age 10 and under (all the way down to girls in diapers.)

I saw a preview for the show this last weekend and was intrigued to learn more. I found out that the girls use different tactics for the pageants such as: spray tans, hair pieces/extensions, heavy makeup, fake teeth (when they start losing their teeth), pricey outfits, and much more.

The girls are judged on Read More

9 Dec

Schools Without Playgrounds?

playgroundIf you ask a child what their favorite part of the school day is, they’ll probably tell you recess. “Recess is the time of day set aside for elementary school students to take a break from their class work, engage in play with their peers, and take part in independent, unstructured activities,” Bossenmeyer, M. (2005). A trend is happening throughout the United States and in my opinion; it’s not a good one.

Recess is being cut and/or eliminated from school schedules. Why does this matter? Children are able to interact outside in ways different than in the classroom. Should recess remain a part of the child’s school day? Read More

7 Dec




Tauer,John_book Sports Parent youthDr. John Tauer is in a relatively unique position as both a coach of one of the winningest basketball teams in the country and a psychology professor who studies motivation at the University of St. Thomas. He doesn’t always like what he sees in youth sports and coined the acronym “WOSP” (well-intentioned, overinvolved sports parents) for his recent book, Why Less Is More for WOSPS: How to Be the Best Sports Parent You Can Be. A big believer in the potential of youth sports to build character, discipline, teamwork and conflict resolution skills, Tauer nonetheless challenges the Read More